MCSD launches sex offender website

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department recently launched a new sex offender registration and public notification website called OffenderWatch.

Monroe County will now be part of a nationwide network of more than 5,000 law enforcement agencies, which includes more than 40 Illinois agencies. Rohlfing said the new service is a citizen-friendly, easy-to-use website that enables citizens to search for potentially dangerous sex offenders and predators which may be in close proximity to their homes, places of work, schools, churches and daycare centers.

The information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is updated in real time by the MCSD as offender information changes and is reported. As part of this new, innovative service, citizens may enter any address of interest to them and see a map and listing of all offenders within a “user defined radius” of that address.

Citizens can then register the address to be continuously monitored by the sheriff, who will send to them an email alerting them if an offender or predator should register an address within their specified radius of their address.

Citizens may confidentially register as many addresses as they like, at no cost to them.

“Citizens have a right to know who may be living near them and could potentially pose a threat to their families. The Illinois sheriffs and police departments using OffenderWatch have the most up-to-date information on all offenders registered in the state and I am happy to be able to provide that information to them,” Rohlfing said.

The sheriff has also made available additional web-based resources designed to educate and inform the public on ways to keep their families safe. The purpose of the program is to lessen the anxiety of citizens by proactively alerting them should an offender move within proximity to them and provide the highest level of security and safety to all Monroe County citizens.

The program also enables the sheriff to verify that offender addresses do not violate any safety buffers that may be implemented around protected institutions in the county, such as schools, daycares and parks, and helps law enforcement schedule compliance checks for verifying information provided by offenders.

Citizens can access the OffenderWatch registry at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office sex offender search page at:

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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